Hedgehog.INK Book Sale to Support Tri-Valley Developmental Services

Gardening Books on the sale rack in front of the store-

Free for a donation to Tri-Valley Horticulture Therapy Program

  • Bring the Book and your donation to the check out counter.
  • We need to remove the book from our inventory system.
  • Thank you for helping us support this worthwhile project.

Dick and Jan Hedges

Hedgehog.INK Upcoming Events

April, 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Events:

March 26

6:00 p.m.

Joyce Love – Author Talk and Book Signing

Kansas Sunset

March 28 6:00 p.m.

Bourbon County Garden Club

Members and Guests

Hosted by



For the love of

Gardening – Sheryl Bloomfield and Jan Hedges

April 1, 2019

Dont be a fool.

Do be cool!

Kick off National

Poetry Month,

Stop by the bookstore to pick up an entry for the

Hedgehog poetry contest.

(National poetry month takes place each April and was introduced in 1996. Learn more by going to Poets.org)


April 4 1:00 p.m.

Author Talk and Book Signing

Learn more about Sally and her different styles of writing (including poetry).


April 13, 2019

Second Saturday Storytime

10:30 a.m.

With FSCC students


April 13, 2019

Author Talk and Book Signing

Pastor George Proctor

You read his column every Saturday in the Fort Scott Tribune.

See him in person at

Hedgehog.INK! on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m.

A community of books for the community

April 18, 2019

Pocket Poem Day

Bring a poem in your pocket and share

with Hedgehog.INK! It can be an original or one you have always loved.

(We will post the poems in our window. Must be suitable for all ages.)

25% off Poetry, Classics, and Literature – all day

April 27-28

Civil War Weekend at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Check out our Civil War section with a number of recently added books.


April 30

Poetry contest entries due by 5:00 p.m.


May 7 6:00

Poetry Contest Reception

Winners Announced

Light Refreshments served

Grand Opening of Gordman’s March 20 at 5:30 p.m.

Gordmans Department Store, 2400 S. Main, Fort Scott.

Retailer to Donate $1,000 to Fort Scott High School

FORT SCOTT, Kan. (March 18, 2019) – Home décor retailer Gordmans, a division of Stage Stores, will debut a new department store in Fort Scott with a Grand Opening Celebration beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at 2400 S. Main Street. Gordmans offers bigger deals and smaller prices every day.

The new Fort Scott store is part of an exciting Gordmans Grand Opening Tour Celebration, which includes 38 brand new Gordmans stores opening this March across the country, and 67 current Gordmans stores joining in to celebrate Gordmans’ growth. In addition, Stage Stores plans to open an additional 36 new Gordmans stores in Summer 2019, which will total 141 Gordmans by end of 2019. Gordmans offers incredible deals on name brand merchandise and trend-right home décor, making the retailer a treasure trove of fun and unique finds.

At the Fort Scott Gordmans Grand Opening Celebration, guests will enjoy:

  • Free Gift Plus Shopping Cards: The first 100 guests in line at the Grand Opening Celebration will receive a free gift and an opportunity to win a $50 gift card or $5 shopping card.
  • Rewards Galore: Gordmans guests who enroll in Style Circle Rewards will enjoy incredible payback rewards, double-double points, a birthday gift and more.
  • Gordmans Credit Card Savings: Gordmans’ guests who apply and are approved for a Gordmans credit card will receive 20 percent off their first day’s purchases.

In addition, as part of Gordmans’ commitment to Fort Scott, the retailer will donate $1,000 to Fort Scott High School.

Interview opportunities with Gordmans’ store manager will be available during the event and upon request (subject to availability).

Gordmans’ Fort Scott Store Details:

2400 S. Main Street

Fort Scott, KS 66701

(620) 223-1498

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Participants:

  • Melinda Goff, Store Manager, Gordmans
  • Jeanie Parker, Mayor, City of Fort Scott
  • Roberta Lewis, Student Council Sponsor, Fort Scott High School

About Stage Stores

Stage Stores, Inc. is a leading retailer of trend-right, name-brand values for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. At the end of March 2019, the Company will operate in 42 states through 690 BEALLS, GOODY’S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES, and STAGE specialty department stores and 105 GORDMANS off-price stores, as well as an e-commerce website at www.stage.com.

Bourbon County Attorney’s New Space

The Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National Avenue.

The Bourbon County County Attorney’s Office has moved.

The move took place following the departure of the old jail to the new jail facility last year. The Bourbon County Commissioners then reconfigured the courthouse, 210 S. National, moving most of the offices to the first floor of the facility.

The second floor was then designated as the county attorney’s office and the staff moved in October 2018.

Security is the main reason for the move.

“The second-floor office is for security,” said Judy Hood, senior legal secretary for Bourbon County Attorney Jacqui Spradling. “We had a KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) agent come and talk with the county attorney. He jumped over the counter, to show how vulnerable they were.”

Both the second and third floor of the courthouse have restricted access since the reconfiguration of the building.

The hallways have been blocked with doors to the second floor. One can no longer walk from the first to the second floor of the courthouse, using the main staircase.

In addition, there is faster access to the district courtrooms on the third floor of the Bourbon County Courthouse for the attorneys, Hood said.

There are three attorneys and three secretaries in the Bourbon County Attorney’s Office.

Jacqie Spradling is the Bourbon County Attorney, Tiana McElroy and Steve Stockard are the assistant county attorneys.

Jacqie Spradling. Submitted photo.
The lawyer’s conference table.

The three secretaries are Hood, Angel Wilson, and Staci Haynes.

The access elevator to the second and third floors of the Bourbon County Courthouse is in the corridor between the courthouse and the north wing of the courthouse.
The stair access to the second and third floor is next to the Bourbon County Clerk’s Office in the north wing.
The Bourbon County Attorney’s Office on the second floor of the courthouse.
The Child In Need Of Care Conference room on the second floor of the courthouse.


Save Your Tax Refund To Get Ahead

Joy Miller, K-State Research and Extension Southwind  DistrictFamily Consumer Science, 620-223-3720 or joymiller@ksu.edu

Ever feel like you can’t get ahead?

Saving at tax time may help you get started. Saving throughout the year can be tough. It may feel like every paycheck is spent before you get it. If that’s the case, you’re not alone.

Tax refunds may be the largest check you will receive all year, but used as unplanned bonuses. Refunds are an opportunity to commit saving a portion to improve your financial situation.

Get the Most Value from Your Tax Refund

  • Pay down your debt. Use your refund for some much-needed debt relief. Pay off your credit card balance. If you have an outstanding balance on more than one credit card, try to pay off the smaller, high-interest rate balances first. That will free up more funds to put toward larger balances. You can apply your refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.
  • Save for a rainy day. Why not give yourself an even bigger return on your tax refund by putting the money into a savings account, CD, or retirement fund? Your tax refund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or invest the money. It’s always helpful to have a savings account to draw from when a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you don’t have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.
  • Consider your financial goals. Trying to save for a house or car down payment? Hope to contribute to your child’s college tuition? Consider applying your tax refund toward these goals. If you don’t yet have a set of short-term and long-term financial goals, put one together. You’ll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund or any other extra money that comes your way.

Remember, you work hard for your money and you deserve to enjoy a healthy financial lifestyle. Put some thought into how you use your tax refund. Making smart financial decisions is not always easy, but it will definitely benefit you and your family over the long term.

Joy Miller may be reached at joymiller@ksu.edu or 620-223-3720.

Gordmans Will Open March 20



Retailer to Donate $1,000 to Fort Scott High School

 Home décor retailer Gordmans, a division of Stage Stores, will debut a new department store in Fort Scott with a Grand Opening Celebration beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20.

Gordmans, to be located at 2400 S. Main Street, opens March 21 with its regular hours 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The new Fort Scott store is part of an exciting Gordmans Grand Opening Tour Celebration, which includes 38 brand new Gordmans stores opening this March across the country. In addition, the 67 current Gordmans stores are joining in to celebrate Gordmans’ incredible growth, based on shoppers loving the retailer’s bigger deals and smaller prices every day. As part of the festivities, the new and current Gordmans stores will be offering giveaways and other fun surprises.

Community members are invited to the Fort Scott Gordmans ribbon cutting, joining representatives from the City of Fort Scott and the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, before stepping inside the new store to discover the fun finds and exciting deals on home décor and more. Additionally that evening, as part of Gordmans’ commitment to Fort Scott, the retailer will donate $1,000 to Fort Scott High School.

  • Free Gift Plus Shopping Cards: The first 100 guests in line at the Grand Opening Celebration will receive a free gift and an opportunity to win a $50 gift card or $5 shopping card.
  • Rewards Galore: Gordmans guests who enroll in Style Circle Rewards will enjoy incredible payback rewards, double-double points, a birthday gift and more.
  • Gordmans Credit Card Savings: Gordmans’ guests who apply and are approved for a Gordmans credit card will receive 20 percent off their first day’s purchases.

Gordmans is excited to join the Fort Scott community. At Gordmans we create an exciting place where terrific deals and popular name brands are at every turn,” said Michael Glazer, President and CEO of Stage Stores. “Gordmans is among the best, with trend-right décor, fun accessories and seasonal items — all at values our guests love. We are committed to bringing our guests bigger deals and smaller prices — and with fresh new deliveries arriving weekly, there will always be something new to discover. Gordmans has deals like nowhere else.”

About Stage Stores

Stage Stores, Inc. is a leading retailer of trend-right, name-brand values for apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear and home goods. At the end of March 2019, the Company will operate in 42 states through 690 BEALLS, GOODY’S, PALAIS ROYAL, PEEBLES, and STAGE specialty department stores and 105 GORDMANS off-price stores, as well as an e-commerce website at www.stage.com.

Media Contact: Sydney Edens, 402-895-2552 ext. 312, sedens@lukaspartners.com

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for March 19


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: March 19th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

Consider request from City of Fort Scott to waive landfill fee for the demolition of Stout Building

9:45-10:15-Jeremiah Hill-Hard surface roads

10:30-11:00-Juvenile Placement

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

Executive Session- Attorney Client Privilege-15 min.

Executive Session-Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel-15 min.

11:45-12:00-Ritters-Valuation notices


Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson

March 15, 2019

K-12 School Funding, Senate Bill (SB) 142, was a point of controversy on the Senate floor.  The bill is an attempt to satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court in the Gannon lawsuit.  You may ask, “another K-12 funding increase”?  Remember, over one billion dollars has been added to K-12 funding in the past two years.  SB 142 would be another increase of over $90 million.  At first, the plaintiffs agreed to the bill.  Then they decided it wasn’t enough.  They want a $360 million increase, the $90 million plus $270 million more.  According to an article in the Wichita Eagle, John Robb, lead attorney for the school districts, said, “I agree the optics are terrible, but I can’t look the other way on the $270 million for schools because the optics may look bad.”  The optics look terrible and the facts look even worse.

In the past ten years, K-12 funding has increased $1.7 billion!  In the past twenty-five years, the number of full-time students has increased approximately 10%, the number of classroom teachers increased approximately 15%, while the number of managers increased approximate 36%, and other non-teacher positions increased approximately 40%.  We must start looking at how the money is being spent and managed.  Is the money getting to the classroom and the teachers?  With the amount of money we pay for our schools, there should NOT be any teacher paying for supplies.

SB 142 allows the Court to continue appropriating from the bench without concern for our property taxpayers, infrastructure, prisons, and other obligations.  The Kansas Constitution puts sole responsibility of appropriations with the Legislature and I will continue to stand against the Court’s Constitutional overreach.  It was disappointing that more Senators chose to cave to the Court’s overreach.  One Senator said, “this is my final offer”, as he voted Yes.  I’ve heard that before and the schools and Court just keep coming back for more.  The bill passed 32 to 8.  I voted No.

Tax:  SB 22 addresses the state tax increase that is a result of the 2017 the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Many states, including Kansas, should change their tax laws in order to avoid a state tax increase.  The Senate passed SB 22 and sent it to the House.  The House added additional tax legislation. The Senate voted 24 Yes and 16 No to accept the House changes.  I voted Yes.  The House additions to SB 22 lowered state sales tax on food by 1% and added an internet sales tax that requires out-of-state vendors to pay Kansas sales tax.  SB 22 is now on the Governor’s desk.  If the bill does not become law, individual taxpayers will have an estimated $50 million increase because they may not be able to itemize deductions and businesses will have an estimated $137 million tax increase if they bring overseas money to Kansas.  Several other states have passed legislation avoiding a state tax increase, including our neighbors to the east – Missouri.


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.



New Medical Providers Coming To Fort Scott

Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients, as stated on the front door of the CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott.

New medical providers have been or will be added to the services that Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will furnish to Fort Scott, according to Krista Postai, Chief Executive Officer.

Postai said the following have recently been added as medical providers at the Fort Scott Clinic.


Allen County Regional Hospital-Ralph W. Hall, DO



Mercy Group- Renae Bateman, APRN

AJ Caine,  MD   (August 2019)

Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)- James L. Marcum, MD



Mercy Medical Group- Pam Darnel, APRN


Ashley Clinic- John J. Robinson, MD

Elias A. Tawil, MD


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


Freeman- Greg King, APRN


Amy Budy


Introducing the practice manager of the CHC/SEK at Fort Scott, Amy Budy.

Budy oversees the main clinic and  Walk-In Care.

She is a former administrative assistant at the Mercy Clinic and had worked at Mercy for 19 years performing a variety of job duties including registration supervisor and precert coordinator.

Budy has been married for 19 years to Jeremy, and has a son Dominick 14; daughters, Mackenzie, 11, and Kynleigh. 8 years.

Budy attended Metro Business College, in the Medical Secretary program.

Senator Hilderbrand’s Weekly Communication

March 15, 2019∙ Week Nine
·      In January, the unemployment rate increased to 3.4 percent from December’s 3.3 percent. In January 2018, unemployment was at 3.5 percent (Kansas Department of Labor).
·      The Kansas labor force expanded by 1,300 in January. The number of unemployed escalated by 930 (Topeka Capital-Journal).
·      The five-county Topeka and Wichita areas had an unemployment rate in January of 4.1 percent. In Johnson County and four nearby counties, unemployment was at 3.7 percent. The Douglas County and Riley County reports showed an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent (Topeka Capital-Journal).
We had the honor of recognizing the Kansas American Legionnaires at the State Capitol. Thank you Legionnaires Carl and Myra Jowers representing Fort Scott Thompson-Harkey Post 25, for making the trip to Topeka!
Many of us have “learn a new language” on our to-do list. With Mango Languages, you can learn right from your own computer (or smartphone!). This online language learning service https://kslib.info/Mango provided by the State Library is easy to use. Choose from 71 languages such as Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese- even Swahili. Mango uses real life situations and conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Mango also includes 19 English as a second language options. Use as a Guest or register to track your progress (and for smartphone use).
If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas. Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step. Questions: kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296. To see all the State Library’s online resources, visit https://kslib.info/databases.
Congratulations to ArtForms Gallery in Pittsburg for winning the 2019 SBDC PSU Emerging Business award!
Thank you Sue Horner, Janet Lewis, Ruth Miller, and Sylvia Shirley for taking the time to visit with me after the ceremony!
CEMETERY DISTRICT TERRITORY VALLEY CENTER (SB 155): Senate Bill 155 would de-annex all of Valley Center territory within the Hillside Cemetery District, located in Sedgwick and Harvey counties, from the cemetery district, effective June 30, 2020. After July 1, 2020, any territory annexed by the City of Valley Center located within the Hillside Cemetery District would be excluded from the cemetery district upon annexation. This bill was passed and placed on the Consent Calendar 38-0.
SALE OF PROPERTY IN DOUGLAS COUNTY (SB 173): Senate Bill 173 would authorize the State Board of Regents to sell the Old father Studios in Douglas County on behalf of the University of Kansas. The proceeds from the sale deposited to the restricted use account of the University of Kansas to be used for deferred maintenance. The bill would require the deeds, titles, and conveyances be reviewed and approved by the attorney general. This bill was passed and placed on the Consent Calendar 38-0.
STATE USE LAW EXTENTION (HB 2174): House Bill 2174 extends the sunset date for the State Use Law Committee which is organized within the Department of Administration, from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2024. This bill was passed and placed on the Consent Calendar 38-0.
TEMPORARY PERMITS FOR THE SELLING AND SERVING OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR (SB 70): Senate Bill 70 modifies and consolidates laws concerning temporary permits to serve liquor for consumption on premises. The bill would codify several Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division rules and regulations into statute. The bill would repeal KSA 2018 Supp. 41-347 and KSA2018 Supp. 41-2645 but would retain most of the provisions of these statutes in new law. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT DELETING REQUIREMENT FOR ADJUSTMENT OF CENSUS DATA (SCR 1605): Senate Concurrent Resolution1605 removes the census adjustment requirement in the Kansas Constitution for military personnel and students. Currently, the state is required to contact every college student and member of the military who resides in Kansas to determine official residence. The census adjustment will ask ‘what is your permanent residence’, then adjusts the official census numbers accordingly based on that answer. This adjustment is only used for reapportionment of Kansas Senate districts, Kansas House of Representatives districts, and State Board of Education districts. During the 2010 adjustment, approximately 13,000 individuals were subtracted from U.S. Census bureau numbers because they told the State of Kansas, they considered themselves to be a resident of another state.
If SCR1605 does not pass, the Secretary of State’s office anticipates needing $834,000 in state general funds to cover the costs of the adjustment as part of the 2020 Census. In addition to state savings, SCR1605 has the benefit of allowing for expedited redistricting. On average, it takes three to six months after official U.S. Census data is provided to Kansas to complete the adjustment and provide redistricting data to the Kansas Legislature. Historically, Kansas has been among the last states to complete its reapportionment requirements and SCR 1605 provides the Legislature with additional time to complete redistricting. This resolution passed the Senate 40-0.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES-RELATED STATUTES (SB 99): Senate Bill 99 creates the designation of inactive certificate, authorizing the Board to issue an inactive certificate to persons currently certified by the Board who make a written application on a Board form and pay the corresponding fee. Such inactive certificates could only be issued to persons who are not directly providing emergency medical services (EMS) in the state and are not presenting themselves to the public as providing EMS. A holder of an inactive certificate would not be allowed to engage in the practice of EMS. Inactive certificate holders could apply for an active certificate by filing a written application on a form prepared by the Board and by paying the corresponding fee. The Board would have the authority to require additional testing, training, or education as deemed necessary to establish the inactive certificate holder’s ability to engage in the provision of EMS with reasonable skill and safety. This bill passed the Senate 36-2(I voted against this bill. I had some concerns with the state mandating fingerprinting, and then making the EMS personnel pay for it.).
This week I had the opportunity to introduce Dr. Jim Triplett, Erin Kruse, Charlie Beetch, and Cecily Stephens in the Senate. They were in the Capitol representing PSU’s Sustainability program. PSU is the only University in the Kansas regents system that offers this 4-year baccalaureate degree.
HOUSE PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, HUMAN TRAFFICKING OR STALKING (SB 150): Senate Bill 150 creates law prohibiting certain actions from being taken against a tenant, lessee, or applicant for a lease because such person has been or is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking. A tenant or lessee could not be evicted from the premises or found to be in violation of a rental or lease agreement based on or as a direct result of the circumstances, if the tenant or lessee otherwise qualifies for tenancy or occupancy. A tenant or lessee would not be liable for rent for the period after vacating rented or leased premises if the tenant or lessee is in the circumstances and notifies the landlord or property owner in accordance with provisions set forth in the bill. In an action brought against a tenant or lessee under Kansas law seeking recovery of rent, the tenant or lessee would have an affirmative defense and no liability for rent for the period after vacating the premises if, by preponderance of the evidence, the court finds the tenant or lessee was in the circumstances described above and provided the required notice.
An applicant, tenant, or lessee would qualify for the protections of the bill if the applicant, tenant, or lessee provides a statement regarding the circumstances to the landlord or property owner, who could also request the applicant, tenant, or lessee provide additional documentation specified by the bill. Such documentation could include a document signed by the victim and any one of various specified professionals or providers from whom the victim sought assistance, declaring under penalty of perjury the individual believes the qualifying circumstances exist, or a record pertaining to the alleged qualifying circumstances from a court or federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, including a police report. The submission of false information by an applicant, tenant, or lessee would be a basis for denial of tenancy, eviction, or violation of a rental or lease agreement. A landlord or property owner could impose a reasonable termination fee, not to exceed one month’s rent, on a tenant or lessee requesting termination pursuant to the bill before the expiration date of the lease, but only if such fee is contained in the terms of the rental or lease agreement. This bill passed the Senate 40-0(I was a co-sponsor of this bill).
AUTHORIZING A STUDY OF RETAIL RATES OF KANSAS ELECRIC RATES (Sub SB 69): Substitute for Senate Bill 69 authorizes an independent $1 million study of retail rates charged by public utilities. The bill requires the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC), a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders, to select a firm or organization to perform the study which is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), the state’s utility regulator, would have to cooperate with the organization hired to conduct the study. Sub SB 69 requires the study to be paid for by utility companies.
This legislation was created in response to Kansas having some of the highest utility rates in the region and is intended to provide information to the Legislature in order to protect ratepayers.
The initial phase of the study will examine whether the current rate-setting process influenced utility capital investments, balanced utility profits and public-interest objectives, expenditures in transmission and renewable energy resources, and examine the regional competitiveness of Kansas’ rates.
The second phase will explore how electric public utilities accounted for installation of charging stations for electric vehicles, how investment in transmission infrastructure influenced utility rates and the impact of electric rates on economic development. This bill passed the Senate 38-1(I voted in favor of this bill).
$90 MILLION SCHOOL FUNDING INFLATION PLAN (SB 142): Senate Bill 142 appropriates funds to the K-12 base aid for FY 2020 and FY 2021. The legislation supplements the state’s $525 million, five-year investment that passed last year, with a series of additional $90 million bonuses during the next four years. SB 142 was crafted to comply with the Kansas Supreme Court’s instructions to add an inflation adjustment. This bill passed the Senate 32-8(I voted in favor of this bill).
ALLOWING KANSANS TO BENEFIT FROM FEDERAL TAX REFORM (SB 22): Senate Bill 22 was originally introduced in response to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 and the revenue windfall Kansas is expected to receive because of federal tax reform. SB 22 addresses both individual and corporate taxes by decoupling state law from federal tax provisions. The bill will provide individuals with the ability to itemize when using the federal standard deduction on their tax return. SB 22 provides Kansans with the right to deduct interest on their mortgage, property taxes, and health care expenses. The bill also provides incentives for businesses to invest and create jobs in Kansas since it places Kansas on par with surrounding states that have already decoupled from federal law, increasing Kansas’ competitiveness.
If Senate Bill 22 does not get signed into law, businesses are expected to get hit with $137 million in state income taxes and individual taxpayers would pay an extra $50 million to the state.
After SB 22 passed the Senate on a vote of 26-14, it was then sent to the House of Representatives where two amendments were added before it passed the House on a vote of 76-43.
One amendment added by the House provided a one percentage point reduction in the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax on food. The food sales tax reduction is expected to provide a $43 million reduction in sales tax, beginning October 1st. The second amendment was an internet sales tax amendment that requires out-of-state vendors to pay sales tax. Online sales tax is expected to generate about $21 million annually. The Senate voted 24-16 to concur with House amendments(I voted in favor of this bill. I did not like the internet sales tax piece that the House put on this bill, and the fact we were not given a chance to remove it).
We had constituents from Spring River Mental Health and Wellness, as well as from Fort Scott Mental Health at the Capitol promoting mental health awareness in Kansas.
Monday –
·      Hearing on: SB 175, enacting the public employee right to choose act, providing public employees with the right of relief from the obligation to pay union dues through withholding of their wages – [Senate Commerce Committee; March 18 at 8:30 am]
·      Confirmation hearing on: Julie L. Lorenz, Secretary, Department of Transportation – [Senate Transportation Committee; March 18 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: HB 2279, requiring law enforcement officers to provide information about timing of release from custody when an arrest is made following a domestic violence call – [Senate Judiciary Committee; March 18 at 10:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 211, requiring the attorney general to appoint a Kansas youth suicide prevention coordinator – [Senate Education Committee; March 18 at 1:30 pm]
Tuesday –
·      Hearing on: HB 2103, amending the revised Kansas code for care of children to provide requirements for placement of a child in a qualified residential treatment program – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; March 19 at 9:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 220, licensure of professional occupations allowing certain persons with criminal or civil records that would otherwise disqualify such persons from licensure to receive a license; add state board of education to exempt agencies – [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee; March 19 at 10:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 126, exemption from income tax for certain public utilities – [Senate Utilities Committee; March 19 at 1:30 pm]
Wednesday –
·      Confirmation hearing on: David Toland as Secretary of Kansas Department of Commerce – [Senate Commerce Committee; March 20 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 221, allowing clubs and drinking establishments to sell beer and cereal malt beverages for consumption off the licensed premises – [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee; March 20 at 10:30 am]
·      Hearing on: HB 2038, revoking spousal inheritance rights upon divorce – [Senate Judiciary Committee; March 20 at 10:30 am]
Thursday –
·      Hearing on: HB 2211, allowing judges to waive or reduce driver’s license reinstatement fees – [Senate Judiciary Committee; March 21 at 10:30 am]
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. Constituent correspondence helps inform my decision-making process and is taken into great consideration when I cast my vote in the Kansas Senate. I hope you’ll continue to engage with me on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka.
Please know that I am fully committed to addressing the current issues in our state, and I am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.